Ministry of Education calms UAE teacher protest
Source: BI-ME , Author: BI-ME staff
Posted: Mon June 16, 2008 12:00 am

UAE. Mohammed bin Hendi said that the Ministry of Education has not taken any decision to terminate the services of the teachers who had assembled in front of the Ministry headquarters in Dubai.

The Executive Director for Institutional Services and Support at the Ministry clarified that it was nothing other than conventional administrative transfers implemented in the country. In a statement put out by the official news agency WAM, he said this was necessitated by the keenness of the authorities to ensure that citizens are able to continue their jobs, ensuring that the transfers don't cause any material impact on them.

"Nobody has explained to us the reason behind our removal from our jobs, but it is known that....our embracing of some of the principles of the Muslim Brotherhood is held against us," a protester Salem Al Teneiji was reported as saying by AFP.

The sit-in outside the Ministry was the second since the 83 teachers were told last August not to report to work in the following academic year. They were transferred to other ministries, such as health and labour.

Teneiji said the authorities were sanctioning them for belonging to a group called the 'Society of Reform and Social Guidance', which he claimed "adopts very moderate Islamic views and....calls for social and rights reforms".

Education Minister Hanif Hassan Ali later agreed to meet the protesters to hear their grievances. The UAE, which has close ties with Western countries, prides itself on its moderation and does not allow Islamist or other political organisations in the government sector.

The Ministry continues to believe that teaching is the foundation stone of the educational process. Stemming from this faith it has given paramount priority to the issue of enriching the skills of teachers and improving their standards. This mirrors the country's keenness to dedicate all its resources to create a generation of high integrity brought up through the most efficient and modern educational process, bin Hendi explained.

He said that the Dubai strategic plan made it imperative that the administrative transfers are made within the Ministry itself, or other various government departments, without any other consideration.

Bin Hendi said it is very natural that any plan for improvement of government institutions and their restructuring will necessitate transfers and replacements, especially in a sector as large as the educational sector. The duties of work will keep changing from time to time in the best interests of the public well being and increased productivity. In the light of the cabinet's attitude of making the strategies of each Ministry follow their respective guidelines for achieving excellence, this holds particularly true.

The official said the Ministry of Education is keen to ensure that these administrative procedures don't make any adverse effect on the livelihood of the teachers and their material wellbeing. It is a well established policy of the country to guarantee its citizens a life in dignity, he said.

Bin Hendi concluded that the Ministry is ready to look into any grievances that are "put forward in acceptable ways."



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